Cline, Phillips bill would mandate 48-hour mininum to review text of legislation prior to voting

(© W. Scott McGill –

Congressmen Ben Cline (R-VA-06) and Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) introduced H. Res. 1086 – the 48-Hour Bill Review Resolution, which will help ensure members of Congress and the public are afforded the necessary time to read and review legislation before a vote is called on the House Floor.

The House currently has a rule in place in which a bill cannot be voted on until 72-hours after its introduction. However, this rule is regularly avoided by stripping an existing bill of its text and “amending” it with entirely new language.

Res. 1086 would require that in addition to the 72-hour notice for bill introduction, the actual text to be voted on must be published at least 48-hours before the vote. Adding this rule strengthens the current 72-hour rule by providing an additional layer of protection for the legislative text being considered, thus closing a loophole used far too frequently in Congress.

Further, the 48-Hour Bill Review Resolution would require the House to pass an altogether separate resolution in order to waive the waiting period required under H. Res. 1086.

“One of the most basic principles of representative government is that the American people should be afforded time to review legislation prior to it being voted on by those they elect to serve in their name,” Cline said. “This is not a partisan issue, and the standards set forth in H. Res. 1086 will bring greater accountability regardless of which party is in the majority.”

“I believe we need to repair our broken politics and restore people’s faith in government. But that can’t happen if the American people don’t think members of Congress are reading the bills they are voting on,” Phillips said. “Members of Congress and our constituents both deserve the time to read and review legislation. That is why I support the 48-Hour Bill Review Resolution. This will afford us the time we need to understand the implications of the bills we are voting on, and prevents legislators from secretly and quickly passing legislation without the approval of the American people.”

This legislation is the third in a series of bipartisan reform bills that Cline and Phillips have introduced together this month. In the past two weeks, the congressmen have also introduced H.R. 7949, the SMART Government Act and H.R. 8022, the Lobbying Disclosure Reform Act.


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